Luke Fitzgerald

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The Ireland team celebrate winning the Grand Slam at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Consulting, farming, coaching and media darlings aplenty, here are the 2009 Grand Slammers revisited. The campaign got off to a stunning start with J(...)

Rob Kearney is tackled by  Scotland’s Blair Kinghorn: The fullback has played a key role in four championship wins plus a Grand Slam. Photograph:  Tom Honan.

Take a bow Rob Kearney, and Rory Best. As the only survivors from the 2009 Grand Slam squad, these two have also been ever-presents in all three ensu(...)

Ireland outhalf Jonathan Sexton and head coach Joe Schmidt enter the press room after the victory over Scotland. Photograph:  Oisin Keniry/Inpho

In 2009 Declan Kidney told Johnny Sexton that the Grand Slam belongs to him as much as the rest. Sexton will never swallow such a line: “Declan said (...)

There were four different players who wore the green 13 in the first five Test matches after O’Driscoll’s retirement.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Triskaidekaphobia, Brian O’Driscoll’s Twitter handle and the word that also adorns the official Leinster supporters club T-shirt in his honour, is a m(...)

Ireland players  celebrate Jacob Stockdale’s second try against Wales. Ireland’s backline are significantly taller and heavier than their 2009 counterparts on the team which won the Grand Slam.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpoh

Is rugby becoming a younger man’s game, as well as a bigger man’s game? The question seems particularly apt on the day Jamie Heaslip confirmed his pre(...)

Jamie Heaslip: “His medical file was the thinnest of any player in the game. A standing joke. Then a bolt from the blue. That dark irony escapes nobody.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It could be a cautionary tale about professional rugby. Then again Jamie Heaslip follows Luke Fitzgerald and Kevin McLaughlin, two of the more recent (...)

Jamie Heaslip celebrates following the victory over New Zealand at Soldier’s Field, Chicago in 2016. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

When it comes to analysing Jamie Heaslip’s stellar career, he undoubtedly ranks as one of the great number eights, perhaps even the greatest ever in t(...)

Joe Schmidt: “I think Bundee was probably disappointed with some of his handling at times. He prides himself on looking after the ball and doing it well.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt sees the faults in our stars. As the Ireland coach must.  Mateo Minozzi is eight months older than Jordan Larmour. Sixty-five minute(...)

Ireland’s James Ryan in action during the Six Nations  match against France at Stade de France. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

The boy who would be king rises up in Paris. Recently, in conversation with a former Ireland international, we naively compared James Ryan to Paul O’(...)

Jordan Larmour scores a try against Ulster. He scored four tries in  the three interprovincial games. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

It’s hard not to get truly excited when a rare talent comes along. As was the case with Brian O’Driscoll and Luke Fitzgerald, so it is with Jordan Lar(...)

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